Last week, I was reviewing Small Plate, Small Planet.
I really enjoyed this book because it took me places I had never been to when cooking, and it will definitely an inspiration for a lot of culinary exploration at home over the next few months. One recipe I particularly enjoyed is this eggplant curry from Malaysia.
I used to eat it all the time in my favorite restaurant in North London, The Banana Tree, and I was happy to find it in Troth Wells’ selection. It is incredibly easy to cook and makes a wonderful dinner for the weekend:
2 eggplants, quartered and then sliced finely lengthwise
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 scallions, sliced
¼-½ green chili, de-seeded and sliced finely
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
seeds from 3 cardamoms, crushed
2 cardamom pods
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1 cinnamon stick, or ½ teaspoon powdered cinnamon
2 teaspoons mild curry powder
1½ cups coconut milk
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro/coriander, chopped
>> In a wok or large pan, heat up the oil and when it is hot quickly sauté the eggplants. Stir them round and when they are brown and soft, remove from the pan, place on kitchen towel to drain and cool.
>> Now, using the same oil (adding more if required), fry the scallions for a few seconds.
>> When these are beginning to soften, put in the garlic, chili and ginger, frying everything together for 1 minute while you stir.
>> Then add the cumin, cardamom, fennel seeds, cinnamon, and curry powder. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes before pouring on the coconut milk. Season with salt and then return the eggplants and cook gently for 5 minutes until the mixture thickens.
~Editor: Kate Bartolotta